What Teacher’s Lounge? Some information for Governor Kasich

Yesterday, Governor Kasich of the great state of Ohio (Toledo proud right here! Born and raised.) opened his misinformed mouth and let the world know that if HE were king HE wouldn’t allow teacher’s lounges anymore. Apparently we teachers use teacher’s lounges to “sit together and worry about, ‘Woe is us.'”

BAHAHAHAHAHA! I saw this and almost peed I was laughing so hard. Seriously. In what world do the teacher’s lounges get used at all? While I am at it, I will stop using the mimeograph to make worksheets and stop using my laser disc player to show video. I seriously think the last time the teacher’s lounge was regularly used at any school in the United States of America was in 1973 when you could light up a camel light and drink your Tab in peace.


The last time on record a teacher used the lounge.

Since recess doesn’t exist anymore, and never has for high school students, and since lunch has shrunk in the hopes that tacking on three extra minutes to every academic period will sky rocket us past the Chinese in test taking abilities and we can once again prove American exceptionalism in a way that matters actually very little to the future of our country, no one uses the teachers lounge anymore.

Ain’t no teacher got time for that! 

Seriously, the teacher’s lounge? Has this man even stepped foot into a school since he was not allowed in the teacher’s lounge because he was a student? In an official poll (i.e. I asked all my teacher friends on Facebook.) I discovered that NO TEACHER ON THE PLANET has more than thirty minutes for lunch. Most have between 22 and 27 minutes to execute all lunch time activities.

Abby, what do you mean all lunch time activities? What else could a teacher need to do during their luxurious 27 minute lunch where they sit in the teacher’s lounge and use dated phrases like woe is me?

Well, for starters, pee. Turns out, you can’t just leave 35 ninth graders in a room by themselves for three minutes while you sprint to the nearest restroom, relieve yourself at record setting pace (thank you two older sisters and one bathroom for giving me the neccesary skills to teach in the public schools) and sprint back to your room. Turns out, they may not quietly do their work, they may start arm wrestling, or throwing paper, or smacking each other because freshmen boys are at a special age when, like pit-bull puppies, they don’t always remember the lessons you have taught them about sitting and staying, and they severely underestimate their own strength. They are also perpetually hungry and sometimes smell bad, but God designed them to be so adorable you will love them anyway. But I digress.

Freshmen boys, pit bull puppies, they are the same. Now STOP WRESTLING IN MY CLASS!

There are a lot of things that need done during lunch that have nothing to do with eating. Sometimes you have to make ten extra copies during lunch because ten kids lost their paper, or give a kid a make-up quiz, or give the kid the extra time they need on an assignment, or give a kid some extra tutoring, or give a kid the being a teenager is really hard but it gets better pep talk you have perfected. Sometimes, during research paper season, you eat with your left hand while furiously grading with your right because 35 kids times 5 periods means you have approximately 70 million hours worth of grading to complete and your own children have stopped recognizing you without a red pen in your hand and a crazed look in your eye. Sometimes, during lunch you answer emails, because, if you are lucky, all 35 kids have a parent who wants to occasionally check-up on them and the best time to answer emails is during lunch. It is hard to answer emails during class because SURPRISE! you are actually teaching.

Most often, during the beginning of the year, you will find a teacher during lunch running reconnaissance on her students. This kid has a poor grasp of English, better go check with the ESOL teachers. This student seems angry or distant, better go check with the social worker. This student may not be on track for graduation, better go check with the counselors.

I have worked at three different schools, with very different populations and I can tell you, with absolute certainty that the only place that is consistently not being used by the teachers, is the teacher’s lounge. Go ahead good sir! Get rid of the teacher’s lounge. We probably won’t even notice, we are too busy doing our job.

Governor Kasich thinks the problem with teachers is the teacher’s lounge. The problem with teachers is this: we are having to deal with laws that are being passed by people who have not one single clue as to what our job entails or how we do it. 

But if you want to get rid of what you clearly think is copious amounts of complaining, and a sense of dread when it comes to the state of education, may I suggest actually understanding what teachers do, listening to us when we say something isn’t working, and having half an understanding how a child’s brain works before you pass some ridiculous law that holds ME accountable for the brain function of a fifteen year old boy? No one knows what is going on in there. No one. But thanks to legislation, I am responsible for it.

So, good Governor of the great state of Ohio, if you would like to hear about teaching, and why the teachers in this country are nervous about the state of their jobs, I would be happy to schedule a lunch meeting with you. In May, when the kids are gone and I have time to eat lunch like a person again. We can even meet in the teacher’s lounge. I am sure no one else is using it.

187 thoughts on “What Teacher’s Lounge? Some information for Governor Kasich

      • Shut up. She is doing her job. She’s responding to someone’s idiotic statement. Just as I’m doing right now.

      • And chances are, the people in other jobs are complaining in their own lunch or break rooms, too. We signed up to teach kids, and we’re doing the hell out of it despite idiots with no education experience passing laws that impede our abilities to do it. Does the pervasiveness of injustice make injustice right?

      • I dare you to volunteer for one week in any school to see what teachers and administrators do all day long. Your thinking may NEVER be the same.

      • Hahahaha! Since when did my job as teacher become a leadership position. Another delusional person who “thinks” they know what we do all day long. (Leadership position….*snort*)

      • I have been retired now for 13 years-taught HS math (all levels) for 32 years. What made me quit? Politicians in Columbus who thought they knew more than we did about teaching–what works and what didn’t. I signed up to be a teacher, not a puppet of someone who just didn’t know what they were talking about.

      • Lori, you are showing your total ignorance! If you know so much about the teaching profession, put your money where your stupid mouth is and try shadowing a teacher for a day. Maybe then you will SHUT UP!

      • Actually, I didn’t sign up for it. My current position was assigned to me. And now I’m so far into teaching I can’t move to another district.

      • Seriously, another opinion backed up with cluelessness. I just retired after 31 years of teaching middle school, and I can tell you education/teaching has changed dramatically in that time. It has gone so far downhill that I told my own children I would not help them with their college education if they chose to go into education. We have had so much extra piled on us, that there is NO time to teach, which is what we actually signed up (and want) to do. We would need to be three people (at least) just to keep up and do all that is thrown on us. So, if your only knowledge of education was acquired behind a student’s desk, you need not enlighten us as to how well you think we’ve got it made or how we should just do our jobs and shut up. And teachers’ lounge??? Are you kidding?? Teacher and lounge don’t even belong in the same sentence. A teacher’s time is always filled, no down time. I have never had time to “lounge” during my long days at school. Our “lounge” (read “workroom”) doesn’t even have a soft place to lie down for a minute if you have a headache (which, with teaching these days, is fairly often) or just aren’t feeling well. So those of you who have no firsthand knowledge of the profession (including politicians), keep your opinions to yourselves. You know not about what you speak.

      • I’m thinking the same thing. I’m an RN, go 12 hour shifts with no lunch breaks (wow, 27 minutes to sit down and eat would be fabulous). Some days I don’t get to pee (luckily no time to drink anything as well). Every vocation has it’s trials, this sounds a bit whiny to me.

      • Natalie, First of all THANK YOU! Nurses are WAY under appreciated. Second, if freaks me out that nurses don’t get a lunch or pee break. Y’all do work that is hard, and literally saves lives. That is deplorable. You should be treated better. Finally, imagine if someone said, at a presidential debate, that the way to fix the nursing proffesion would be to cut down on your breaks. I wasn’t meaning to be whiny, just point out the absurdity of taking away teacher’s lounges when we don’t actually ever use them.

      • Not whining, just stating facts. At my school, we do not have a teacher’s lounge. The building was built in 1989 with what was supposed to be a teacher’s lounge. However, we have a problem with overpopulation, so it was soon converted into a classroom. My high school is holding 200 more students than it is supposed to according to fire code, yet nothing ever gets done about that. All we seem to hear is how teachers are reclining in their open lunch areas, drinking sarsaparillas, and melancholy-ing about how they miss the good old days. I don’t complain. I just get tired of hearing misinformed people make generalized statements, that do me an injustice by painting who I am as an educator with such a broad brush. Kasich is a dolt when it comes to his opinions on educators. I have spent virtually every one of my lunch periods grading papers in my office or in the math lab helping my students understand critical thinking in math. I guess I should spend some time teaching critical thinking to our illustrious governor and legislators.

      • We do our jobs. That is the point she is making. We do our jobs so no one is in using the teacher’s lounge that doesn’t even exist in most schools.In the handfull of schools that still pretend to have a lounge, it is usually a couch (bought and paid for by some senior class back in the 60’s) or a cople of chairs on the walls surrounding the copier, the printer, that scantron machine and stacks of books filled with new objectives decided on by people who haven’t ever taught a class. Oh and elementary teachers don’t even get the 22-27 minutes because they have to help kids open their milk cartons and c;lean up the milk spilled by the ones who can “do it myself.”

      • The injustice is that we have someone clueless in a state leadership position. Ahh, if only teachers were still valued as leaders…..

      • Clearly she is doing her job and then some. When someone, who has not set foot in a school for any full day in DECADES, decides that the teacher’s lounge is being misused, there is an obligation to set him straight. When most of us signed up, we didn’t sign up for state and federal laws to oppose each other, for new laws to contradict mission statements, and for legislators to ask for more work with less funding. Next time you decide that teachers aren’t doing their job, follow them for a week to see that you can back that statement up.

      • Are you kidding me Lori? Leadership position?? I think not! And they get paid squat!! Oh my, Lori. You need to shadow a teacher in the classroom, then go home with them, because their job doesn’t end at the ringing of the bell. I’m not a teacher, but I have many friends that are. I was a classroom assistant for one year in a kindergarten class, and that’s where I learned just how much love, work and sweat goes into teaching. I respect them so much for all that they do for our kids, and would hope that our government would do the same. We are so lucky to even have people that want to go into teaching in today’s job market.

      • Lori, you are an elitist, arrogant idiot, and we did not sign up for this. This has all been brought about by imbeciles like you voting in people like Kasich. We are doing our jobs and the jobs of parents who think we can undo years of bad parenting by teaching rigor to kindergartners. Get a clue, or shut up.

      • She is not complaining, Lori, she is explaining what we do when the good Gov.thinks we are sitting and complaining. Yes, we signed up for it and do it because we love kids but don’t accuse me of sitting around complaining, I do not have the time or the patience with folks like you who do not have a clue about the job.

    • I am not a teacher but I work in a school. When a teacher sits down for their “30” minute lunch break. They are not complaining, they are discussing how they can make something work better. 504 or the IEP anything to ensure their students are given the best opportunity to learn. No woe is me.

    • Natalie, and I’m fairly certain your income reflects your professional training whereas a teacher’s does not. Yes, every profession has its challenges but I came out of a 20+ year career in IT after a layoff and I have NEVER worked so hard as a I have as a teacher for as little pay. Yes, I do it because I love it. No, that doesn’t mean I don’t have the right to advocate for better working conditions. Remember my favorite quote: “my working conditions are your child’s learning conditions.”

      • I had to laugh when nurse Natalie compared her working conditions to ours as teachers, but makes no mention of the huge pay discrepancy. Nurses are overworked, but from what I’ve learned they are compensated pretty well, unloke teachers. By the way, how much of your own money do you spend doing your job, nurse Natalie?

      • I have been a nurse for 40 years and just like the teaching profession, it has changed dramatically. It is true, rare lunch and never 30 minutes – while the cafeteria does exist, not enough time to buy anything anyway. Our job responsibilities go beyond the obvious. The amount of documentation required on each patient every shift is daunting. And as you are judged by your test scores, we are judged by patient satisfactions scores. I can let you think about that. Monetary compensation is average at best. And there is huge compression of salaries. I have not had an hourly increase in my salary in 7 years. I receive a merit bonus each year instead, but that does not accommodate any extra hours that are worked over my budgeted time. And this years bonus is calculated on the hourly wage that was 7 years ago. Nursing is my calling, as teaching is yours. It saddens me to see the comments that are not supportive of the teaching or nursing profession. Decisions made by people without any first hand knowledge of what it takes to do the job well, are similar. Teachers are overworked, underappreciated and are left with minimal resources. I have always said teachers are saints and I stand by that. Our future is in your hands- thank you. These politicians need to have a clue.

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  2. I got out of the teachers’ lounge habit before I ever had one because way back when I started teaching they allowed smoking!

    • Me too Karen. My last public school job (in OH) ended in 1976. I ran into the lounge to grab my lunch out of the frig then eat at my desk with papers to grade and afternoon lessons to review. In the 90’s my kids’ high school teachers ate on a small stage at one end of the cafeteria that served the students. A greater adult presence in the room.

  3. In the last twenty years of my teaching career, the ONLY times I ever say any teacher in the so-called teacher’s lounge was during lunch, and even then it was just a very few, who were usually multi-tasking (grading papers, making copies, discussing student needs.) The very idea! Teachers’ lounge?!?

  4. My tweet from yesterday morning…@JohnKasich is woefully out of touch. Teachers have no time to sit…anywhere..or eat…or pee. #kasich …

  5. I must be in the minority. For all 12 years I’ve made a point to stop a few minutes, sit down in the lounge and eat my lunch with my co-workers (and then I actually get to know them!) We usually talk about things other than school, it’s quiet and it’s peaceful. Just what I need in the middle of a crazy day. My cooperating teacher during student teacher had this practice he said I should keep it, for it would save my sanity in the long run. Best advice ever.

    • I agree. I taught for 40 years. Some of my best conversations were over lunch with my peers in the teachers’ lounge. This was also where I could pick up my mail and check the local paper for articles I had sent to it, grab a pop from the machine and “decompress” for a few minutes during my prep. It was also the place to escape that kid who always came to see me during my prep. I needed a break. AND if teachers were complaining about the state of education, since we were on the front lines, we helped each other solve some of the problems we had the power to save. I don’t miss teaching for that reason: politicians who are ignorant about education.

      • Yeah, I did that, too, in my 1st two years of teaching. Now in my 10th…the game changed a COMPLETE 180. I barely have time to even think about taking a pee–I had to quit coaching.
        Teachers that coach have to make sacrifices–either your job, family, or health performance takes a hit…none of which are worth it, anymore (especially for 2000 bucks after taxes–about $5/hr).
        Kasich probably wipes his bum with $5 bills….

      • Unfortunately, there is no time to decompress anymore. Especially if your scores are not high enough. And especially when you had several “tank the test.” That is now your fault. You MUST motivate and teach them to their potential. No matter what. The brave new world is fully upon us…

    • I’d love to do that. Unfortunately, I’m REQUIRED to eat with my kids at lunch. I’m lucky if I get a chance to sit down at lunch since there’s no room at our assigned table for me. I don’t need 20 minutes, but five to decompress (and go to the restroom!) would be fabulous. My specials time is first thing in the morning, so I’m “on” for six straight hours without a break. It’s fun. John Kasich should try it.

      • And when you try to eat there is some hungry kid wishing and longing to have a bite of your healthy lunch, not that prefabricated crap they have to buy for $2.50 or more. They called it family time in my school.

      • Me too. Every other day anyway. I either have lunch duty for 2 classes, or recess duty for 2 classes. Another teacher and I switch off. And on the days that I have recess duty, I get lunch “off.” But since I sometimes have meetings or staff development during my planning time (when the kids are at specials) I often have to work straight through my lunch. I frequently don’t eat lunch as I am either making copies, grading papers or doing some other errand, or walking around watching 50 students, opening milks or applesauce, cleaning up spills, and dealing with behavior problems, etc. And if I have recess off, it’s the same thing, I work straight through.

      • But I should have added that I do all of this because I absolutely love what I do. And seeing the kids “get it ” makes it all worth it. But yeah, the teachers lounge thing is quite laughable!

  6. P.S. I’m not in agreement that a politician has any clue what teachers really do. They don’t…and I’ve invited several to my classroom for the day to see what 1st grade really is all about.

    • Did anyone of them show up and stay all day? I would also like to see someone invite Kasich to “shadow” a 5th or 6th grade class all day!

  7. Teachers who don’t know that “teachers’ lounge” is a euphemism for talking among themselves bitching constantly shouldn’t be teaching. This blog is a prime example that proves Kasich’s point perfectly. As is the constant Facebook negativity by teachers. Keep proving Kasich right!

    • I believe you missed her point. She is explaining why teachers do not use the lounge, not what it is. My school is over crowded, and our lunchroom ( I would not have called it a lounge) is now a classroom. I bet where you teach there are teachers experiencing exactly what she described. If not, please tell me where you work. I want to get a job there.

      • Teachers are in a no-win situation. If politicians or the media criticize us and we fight back, or try to explain their misperceptions, we are labelled whiny, ungrateful, spoiled, etc. If we don’t speak up, the misperceptions become people’s “truth” about teachers. If we do speak up, it appears to the public that we are proving the media right. How do we fix this?

    • Except…it isn’t. He was talking about the literal teacher’s lounge. He LITERALLY said he wanted to ban the ACTUAL SPACE of a teacher’s lounge. Otherwise he would just be banning complaining….which is against my first amendment rights.

      • This is in Kasich-world where he is king instead of president. By all indications, his world does not include First Amendment rights. He wants teachers to shut up and stop ruining his chance to become president. Because he learned nothing from Issue 2 except that he didn’t get his way. His comment about teachers lounges, four years later, makes that very clear – like a child throwing a temper tantrum. He absolutely refuses to listen to the voters of his state. I can’t really tell the difference between any of the GOP presidential candidates, though. Every single one of them has dangerous ideology on some or all issues. The GOP wants desperately to go back to the 1950s, while the rest of us are trying to make this a better world for future generations. Thank you teachers for all that you do!

    • What a bizarre comment! None of the teachers I know, including a family member, EVER use “teachers lounge” as a euphemism for complaining. How that makes them ineligible to teach is also a little strange. Not sure why you think teachers only express negative comments on FB either. My teacher friends post some wonderful, positive things about their jobs and the students they teach. Sorry you don’t get it!

      • The up-to-date euphemism is “Parking Lot Conversation”. Probably because that is the only safe place for teachers to talk or the only time they have to do it…at the end of a long, chaotic day. Perhaps Gov. Kasich should ban parking lots, too?

    • When teachers EXPLAIN their jobs, it isn’t complaining; it is typically an attempt to help people understand what they actually do and the challenges inherent in the job that most others don’t even think about, such as not being able to use the bathroom as needed. So many just assume they “know.” In few, if any, other professions do people presume knowledge of what those professionals do. But in the case of teaching, just because people once sat in a classroom they believe they know. Teachers don’t have a corner on complaining by they way. It happens in EVERY profession. Teachers have been demonized and vilified for so long now, it is just the fashion. No one cares if anyone else raises concerns about their jobs, but when teachers feel forced to defend their profession because they feel everyone is bashing them, they are labeled complainers and whiners. Teachers can’t win.

    • Quit trolling…Kasich is no friend to public education or the public sector as a whole. He is Ohio’s version of Scott Walker, an ill-informed, Koch brother puppet…if this is your guy, I feel for you

      • I am a conservative Roman Catholic in every sense of the connotation. I will never support Jeb Bush or John Kasich because of their love of the abomination that is the Common Core Curriculum. I believe Common Core is another top-down federal disaster and that teachers are longer allowed to teach, but rather have to teach to tests and are forced to be test Nazis. True public education belongs in the hands of local municipalities. Funds need to stay in the respective state, not in the pig trough that is the general fund of the leviathan that is the Federal Government. True Conservatives, there are about three that are campaigning at this moment, would never use federal power to impose another education program on public schools. Although I oppose Governor Kasich on his Common Core stance, I do commend him and Governor Walker in their courageous efforts to stop runaway city and state funded retirement benefits, and ridiculous accumulation of unused paid vacation. Theses types of plans are unsustainable. In the real world no one can contribute the amount that state and city employees contribute to their plans, work for 25 or 30 years, retire at the age of 52-60, draw a retirement income over the next 25-30 years, assuming longevity is on their side, that is anywhere from 60%-80% of their last 2-3 most highly compensated years. In the real world one would have to accumulate a portfolio of 1.5 to 3 million dollars. Having said that, I believe that in a perfect world we would eliminate the tiranny that are unions, compensate DEDICATED, OUTSTANDING, teachers for the professionals that many of them are at appropriate salaries starting at $45,000-55,000 with the potential of earning but not limited to $175,000-$200,000-$250,000 at their peak. In this way they could properly fund their own retirement. No longer would they be dependent on politicians or union bosses for long-term security.

    • According to a poll taken by Forbes magazine in 2014 (and backed up by other polls and studies…search it…), approximately 52% of Americans have job dissatisfaction. I’m sure there are plenty of people in both the public and private sector who do their fair share of complaining. I’m sure King Kasich has complained during his tenure as our “informed” leader. Should we remove his office?

    • His implication WAS that teachers lounge to complain. Nope, they are desperately TRYING to do their jobs and they LOVE their jobs. What this shows me is that teachers are insulted because they are working very hard but are too often made the scapegoat for our politicians who are pressured to FIX what is perceived to be broken in our schools. I can’t understand why professionals discussing issues and solutions is considered bitching for some groups, but considered progressive for others. I will also note that even imagining himself as a “king” sort of lets us peek at his ego. I will be voting for whichever candidate refrains from any high school type commentary sarcastically insulting ANYONE! Is there anyone out there that can do that?

    • Mr. Howard
      Please don’t insult our intelligence! We “get” his point either way! The educators on this blog are NOT complaining – they are explaining and clarifying what their job involves as well as only defending what was attacked! It is YOU who does not know the meaning of what my fellow educators are clearly writing!!

      • Clearly writing? I see “Stupid”, “Shut up”, and “Get bent” as repeated themes in these posts. That’s not my idea of a civil discussion but libs only want to hear their point of view so it doesn’t surprise me.

    • You’re an ignorant fool. These teachers clearly get what the Govenor was saying. Discussing the very tedious workday of a teacher isn’t bitching. I’m guessing you know nothing about teaching nor have you been in a school in years. Go away.

    • Davonte, Are you a teacher, aide, cafeteria worker, bus driver, or anything even remotely associated with a school or education? You better hope Kasich doesn’t by some weird karma becomes our President. He is very out of touch with reality!! It has been my experience in my 40+ years in the workplace, and not just education, that EVERY lunch period in any profession is spent “bitching”. We prefer to call it “venting”. One more question, Do you have a job yourself?

    • And how long did you teach, and where, and was it recently? And by the way, what percentage of your students got free lunch?

    • Actually, Dajonte, if we weren’t running papers and preparing things for class, our time spent in the “workroom”( because we don’t have a lounge), was devoted mainly to collaboration on lessons or on discussing how we might meet the needs of struggling students. Those discussions were how we discovered which students were having difficulties in more than one area, and we tried to come up with plans to help. Kasich is ridiculously clueless about teachers and education. And if I should choose to spend my time complaining about politicians who try to talk about things that they know nothing about, that’s just what I’ll do, and Kasich’s powerless to do anything about it. How do you know anything about teachers, anyway??

  8. Check out the Jaime Vollmer book “Schools Can’t Do It Alone”. He spoke at our convocation. Fantastic Stuff right there.

  9. Love it and I was a Special Ed./ EMR/ACE/ LD-BD/Intervention Specialist for 40 years and a born and raised Toledoan also. Proud graduate of Roy C. Start High School and Kent State, B.S. Ed. and M.S. Ed. Retired 2011.

    • Wendy, I am a 1968 Roy C. Start grad that spent 42 years in the classroom! Didn’t spend time in the teacher’s lounge, but sure enjoyed teaching. Can’t say I would want to teach in today’s teaching environment. I admire any and all that are still in there giving their all to the children they serve

  10. sounds exactly like “woe is me” to me.. yes, we all know, teachers work harder than anyone, are more deserving, more honorable, more wonderful than anyone, and work for nothing (despite making better entry level wages than just about any profession) ….. so its understandable that you would go on this moral outrage tirade over… um, what was it again, oh yeah, a single term used by a politician… I do, however, want to thank you for a perfect example to use when trying to define the term “woe is me”.

    • Please name a profession that requires a Master’s degree and has a starting salary of less than $30K. We’ll all be over here waiting.

      • In 2011–12, 56 percent of public school teachers had a master’s or higher degree.. .. those are figures from the National Center for Education Statistics. For those who have a Master’s Degree, higher salaries are of course justified, as they are in any profession. However, entry level teachers, with a brand new bachelor’s degree, earn on standard, more than $30,000 per year entry level salary. Many of that 56 percent who have Master’s degrees earned them during their career .. they started their employment in a school district after receiving their undergraduate degree and earned approximately $30,000+ per year at that time… I am not denying the right of those with advanced education to get higher salaries, just as those who have been in the profession – just like with any profession – should earn higher wages than entry level. My comment is that entry level teachers in many cases make significantly more money than entry level workers with equivalent education in other fields. I have no beef with teachers, I do have a beef with teachers who walk around acting as if they are the only worthy profession, that they work harder, are more deserving, and more “honorable” than any other profession, while bemoaning their poor salaries and humongous efforts, while downplaying the contributions struggles and deservedness of any other sector of workers. The majority of the posts responding to my comment supported my impression of that attitude.

      • Jessica, you stated the following: “My comment is that entry level teachers in many cases make significantly more money than entry level workers with equivalent education in other fields.”
        I mentioned in a prior post that my son, who recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree, has a job making nearly as much as I was making with 30 years experience and a master’s degree plus 30 semester hours beyond the degree. All of his job offers were close to or more than what I was making. I don’t know where your information is coming from when you state that entry level teachers (who make $30,000) are making significantly more than that of workers in other fields with equivalent education. Seriously?? Significantly more?? I think not, and in many cases, not even close.

        I also think you’re way off base with your following comment: “I do have a beef with teachers who walk around acting as if they are the only worthy profession, that they work harder, are more deserving, and more “honorable” than any other profession, while bemoaning their poor salaries and humongous efforts, while downplaying the contributions struggles and deservedness of any other sector of workers. ”
        Most of the comments from teachers that I have ever read were lamenting the ridiculousness of all the testing and all of the additional time required by teachers to deal with the paperwork, lack of time during the school day to do all of the additional work that has been pushed on us, etc. I don’t recall reading any posts by teachers who claimed to have the only worthy profession, or that others don’t work hard and have struggles as well. We obviously are going to strike back when people, who are blatantly ignorant of what being a teacher entails, lash out and say things that are so off the mark and clueless. Just like a teacher who has never been a nurse cannot really know what it’s like to be a nurse, the same is true of those who have never taught. Unless you’ve done it, you can only guess what it’s actually like and all that is involved. As I said, having taught 31 years, I have seen many changes in education and the majority have not been for the better, not for the students or the teachers.

    • Where in God’s name do you get your wage figures. My cousin and I graduated the same day from Ohio state. He started his job the next day at the same wage that I earned 25 years later . please use a fact checker because your lack of facts invalidate your point,

      • Actually most counties in Ohio start at 30k or less and require you get your masters degree within two years per the state’s demands. So. This was accurate. 25 years has changed A LOT about the teaching proffesion.

    • Jessicawatersedge…ummm…why don’t you put your money where your stupid mouth is? Volunteer to shadow a teacher for a few days. You, of course, will never have the courage to take me up on that offer. You would orefer to sit on the sidelines, just like idiot Kasich, and make dumb comments like what you just made! So…why do you hate teachers? Did you perhaps get cheated out of a tater tot at lunch in 6th grade? Maybe you had to ride the bench in softball in high school, even though I am SURE you were “The Best Athlete In The World,” right? Maybe you got a B in math class when we all “know” that you were the smartest and most beautiful girl in the school, correct? I have some advice for you: GROW UP! And while you’re at it SHUT UP!

      • The childishness of your comment proves my point. enough said. You’re dismissed.

    • Jessica Water’s Edge, the problem isn’t this one comment Kasich made at the end of a 40 minute long interview. The problem is that Kasich, along with many career politicians, has a history of going after educators. A few years ago the state gov. wanted to pass something called SB 5. There are plenty of articles on line about it. Read some and you’ll see that this lounge comment he made is not some isolated incident. It’s his little reminder to us that he still has us on his to-do list.

    • I’ve been reading a lot of the comments. Most of them are explaining what a teacher does. I really didn’t see anyone state or imply they were better, more honorable etc. A lot of people do not understand what teachers do. Most teachers enjoy teaching but we can’t just teach anymore. We are counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, detectives, parents, doctors/nurses, financial providers and then teachers. Some of our colleagues have been been human shields and given their lives to save their students, their children.

    • I don’t think teachers think any of those things about themselves, Jessica. But like people in many professions, we think our jobs are important and we work hard every day to give kids the best opportunity to succeed. I teach in a low socioeconomic area (starting year 33), and in addition to buying our own teaching supplies, we often supply kids with things like school supplies, alarm clocks (because no one gets them up for school and the SCHOOL is dinged by the state if we have too many tardies and absences), food for home (because with 65% on free lunch we know many teenagers are not eating enough!) and and clothes. WE know we care about our kids and it’s insulting that others don’t think we do. Of course we complain about things in our jobs! Who doesn’t? But at one point Kasich called us “money-grubbing teachers”. Really? While we make an adequate living we certainly are not money-grubbers! None of us. Not even the bad ones. But contrary to what many must believe, it is NOT an easy way to make a living. Most of us love what we do, because if it’s not something that’s in your heart, even summer vacations will not help you survive this job.

    • I have to respond to your statement, Jessica, that “teachers make better entry level wages than just about any profession.” Are you kidding me??? Are you comparing apples to apples? I have to say that I have a master’s degree plus more than 30 semester hours beyond, and my son, who just graduated with a bachelor’s degree, is now making just almost as much as I was making after 31 years of teaching. And after bonuses, he’s going to make as much or more. I’m not sure what geographical area you’re referencing with that statement, but not even in the ballpark here. No “woe is me,” just facts.

  11. Without some vocalization of what really goes on in schools, things would NEVER change. Teachers should not have to be doormats and just take the disrespect given by Ohio’s current governor. This isn’t the 1800’s where teachers were expected to remain single, get to school two hours early to stoke the furnace, stay after to clean up after their students, live with a student’s parents and only ever be in the male presence of her brothers and/or father. Teachers have to advocate for themselves because no one else will do it for them. Teachers are allowed to talk with one another about all kinds of issues pertaining to their occupations. Venting is useful to keep your sanity and it has to be done in the lounge because there are others who are experiencing the same thing. I can guarantee teachers are not the only ones who ever talk with their colleagues about issues that are plaguing their employment.

  12. A Federal law states that the “one” reason that a teacher can leave a classroom unattended and not be held accountable for what happen during their absence is for restroom business, so take your pee and tell aka such to kiss all teacher’s asses. He’s a political crook and prick!

    • Please tell me which Federal laws states that a teacher can leave students unattended to use the restroom. My principals always told us that leaving students could be grounds for dismissal.

      • I have never been permitted to leave elementary students classroom to use the restroom, ever!!

    • This is true, and believe it or not, to answer a phone call in the office is another allowed reason. Our administrations don’t want us to know that a dismissal over going to the restroom would never hold up in court.

      • It states that teachers have a reasonable expectation that students will behave themselves during that time. If they don’t, it is on them, not the teacher. We studied this in a Public School Law graduate class, but I believe it is case law and not a federal law.

  13. We have a Governor that is so out of touch with the working person. He is all for big business. Show me one thing this idiot has done to improve things for the middle class….

  14. Hurrah! I am retired after teaching in both private and public schools – a variety of grades and subjects in several different facilities. I have never known the “Teachers’ Lounge” to be a lounging place for anyone. Many – if not most – are also the teacher workroom equipped with copy machine, stapler, hole punch, paper cutter, etc. so that you can warm up your lunch in the microwave while your papers are running or cut your art lesson paper between bites of your sandwich. By the time you take your class to the lunchroom and pick them up on time (elementary teacher), go to the restroom if you REALLY have to, and get your lunch warmed up or stand in line in the cafeteria to buy one, you’re lucky if you have 10 minutes to eat with your co-workers, maybe, and you’re more concerned about what work you can get done in that amount of time, rather than have long discussions about the teachers’ plight, Lounge is not the appropriate term. Teachers’ work room is what some districts have rightfully named these areas. I have never worked in a building where a lounge was really a lounge during the teaching day – so, go ahead, Gov. Kasich, get rid of teachers’ lounges because, in reality, there is no such thing!!! And good luck being nominated for President. Most Ohioans don’t like you – and we will be heard!

  15. What a jerk,how many teachers in Ohio,he is a Governor,and dont know their schedules,and what little time they have on theirs hands.Florida is the same way. They hate unions,which equals rights for human beings,that s what unions are jerks. But they dont want rights for humans.They want slaves as we have in Florida. Conditions for teachers are getting more terrible by the day. The most important people in the world besides parents are teachers,where would any of us be without them. Esp,if we didnt have a good set of parents. SAM.

  16. Influential people who make decisions about public education do not have their offices in a school. How can anyone make appropriate remarks or assess what is best for the education system without being part of the day to day environment? Burns me up!

  17. Love the article…but: “There are a lot of things that need done during lunch that have nothing to do with eating.” Come on!! How about: …need TO BE done…

  18. If your job sucks quit
    If you don’t like the rules get youself to a position or role to write your own rules
    If you like your job be happy and enjoy.
    Just please quit complaining…… You are a public servant who gets paid by people who have a much more difficult job then you ……yes I am talking to teachers…..your job is why you chose to do and we the public pay your salary. Go work in a coal mine and tell me how tough teaching is. Drive a garbage truck then tell me teachers work hard. Become a MD? Never spend a Christmas with your family and tell me you have a high demand and stressful workloads.

    • Do you suppose coal miners complain? Doctors? Sanitation workers? Or perhaps yourself at your own place of work? Oh, you don’t? Then you must compensate by reading blogs and complaining in the comments section. You may have a point – people probably should complain less, especially about the choices they make. And hey, you can change that one person at a time, starting with yourself, by not reading things that make you unhappy and then feeling obligated to complain about other peoples’ complaints! Good luck!

      • As someone from West Virgina, I find your comment strange and insulting. Coal miners have safer conditions BECAUSE they complained…and had strikes…and did everything they needed to do, including defend themselves and their families against actual violence against themselves, until conditions improved.

        Just because someone chooses a job doesn’t mean they give up the right to explain their working conditions, or advocate for better ones. It’s called American democracy, freedom to asssemble, freedom of speech, and y’know, other important stuff I guess you missed when your teacher covered that unit.

        I’m not a complete fan of unions today, btw, or unlimited tenure, and I’m not a stranger to “real jobs.” I worked at WalMart as a cashier. Yeah, it was hard, and the pay was crap, but I wasn’t shaping young minds, either. The quality of tomorrow’s leaders wasn’t dependent upon my ability to swish stuff past the electronic scanner. And I didn’t have to rank up student debt to be a cashier.

        There are few professions where a person is required to supervise, coach and be responsible for hundreds of young people for 6 hours per day, with a 20-minute break (maybe), then go home and do another 3-4 hours of grading, administrative work, planning, talking (begging) parents, etc. There are few professions where the professionals may actually need to fear those they serve. (Police, sure, but they have unions, pensions, disability, and you don’t need a college degree, much less a master’s degree, to be a police officer. And they get paid overtime.)

        There are few professions where the professionals are so constantly scrutinized, criticized and measured, often by things out of their control (absentee or neglient parenting, school administrators and lawmakers out of touch, lack of proper supplies or buildings…I could go on.)

        A coal miner doesn’t need a college degree or master’s degree. A doctor doesn’t need to keep paying for professional courses to retain his license, and most doctors do not work the hours coal miners OR teachers do. (Not every doctor works in a hospital, or even retains hospital privileges.) A pediatric nurse may be comparable, and nurses definitely need more appreciation for all they do, but you can get a job as a nurse with two years of community college.

        Comparison is a sucker’s game in a free market society, but just had to point out a couple of obvious holes I’m seeing in these comments.

    • Well, Legamorph, somehings morphed, but I don’t think it was your leg! Teachers choose teaching because they actually like teaching kids. Chances are if you have kids, it’s not because you like them, it’s because you like the way you got them. Teachers are putting up with, and are raising your kids, because you will not or have not got the time to do it. They also have a right to complain because every year there is someone changing the rules(tests). If the students do not pass these tests, it is blamed on the teachers, not the fact that no one at home is helping or encoraging their child to do better, beside the fact that some kids just don’t care!As for never having time to spend with your children, some teachers do not have enough time to spend with their own childred, because they may have stayed after school to tudor your child. As for stressful workloads and only working 10 months of the year. No one but the teacher is getting their rooms ready to start the year, planning their day times the number of shcool days per year, buying with their OWN MONEY supplies for kids that didn’t show up with theirs, and in some cases a pair of shoes for the child whose parent drinks all of their money instead of the shoes they need. Get off your high horse and give teachers a break. Oh I forgot they don’t actually get one, but I bet you make sure you do! There is a saying, don’t complain about another until you’ve walked in their shoes. You don’t really know what is going on unless you are in the same situation.

    • I don’t think you can compare teaching to working in a coal mine. Like comparing apples and chisels. Both types of work are valuable, dangerous and extremely difficult. Also, imagine trying to do your job as a miner at times when everyone around you is apathetic at best, working against your direction, or at worst, is threatening to kill you, and it is your job, as a miner, to fill your cart and meet your hourly quota or the State is going to shut you down. Oh, and those around you whom you have to motivate to not only like you but listen to you? Your job is dependent upon how much coal THEY start to mine. And if they can also pass the written test proving that they know proper mining strategies, regardless of how full the cart is that you can see with your own eyes. That’s the kind of mining teachers have to do.

    • I agree with some of your comments. People do have a choice of profession… Teachers are paid by public taxpayers. My question is: who isn’t paid by the public? What money is used to pay professional athletes? … CEO’s? …? Isnt it the money that is being spent by Americans? The “I pay your salary” argument doesn’t fly…. Everyone paid in this country is paid by everyone else… Think about it.

    • The difference is no one is continuously bashing those professions, Legamorph. When you’re being attacked, you feel the need to fight back.

    • Lega morph, you may not have noticed, but many teachers are doing just that. Teaching has become so untenable in a number of states that sizable teacher shortages have started developing. While you may not respect teachers or their concerns, we provide an essential service that allows our society to function. Not being given the support and autonomy we need to educate children will have severe and long-term effects on the future of our country.

  19. I’m an Ohio teacher. I was shocked when I heard he said this. Then, I actually listened to the whole context of what he said instead of cut off quote. I’d like to think other teachers have the critical thinking skills to do the same thing.

    • It was a sound bite. Politicians know that a soundbite that bashes teachers and schools wins undecideds/independent voters every time. He wanted to be judged on that snippet; he was counting on it. The rest of his speech won’t be reported on by the media; if he hasn’t figured that out yet, he isn’t much of a Republican, or a politician.

  20. For those teachers that actually teach, grade their own papers (not sending them to parents to do), do not get time to eat or use the bathroom I commend you. But not all teachers are like that. I as a parent dealt with a teacher that my son had that left me sitting in a classroom when I was supposed to be having a conference with him to GO SHOPPING AT WAL-MART. So I know he had time to eat and use the toilet.

      • I don’t see how it could be common for a teacher to go to WalMart during the school day…most teachers don’t have blocks of time to leave the school building, and many must sign in and out. After school day, maybe, but then, technically, their work day is over. (I say “technincally” because most work past that time.)

        Plus, I worked at WalMart during the school day. If there were teachers shopping there, they must have hid their badges…and changed their identities (it was a small town).

  21. Absolute proof that Ohio Governor Kasich has no understanding of teachers, nor what they do. His statements alluding to educators using Teacher’s Lounges as places to hang out and avoid work are not only profoundly incorrect, but also widely offensive. For the 28 minutes I spend in mine a day, I spend it shoving food at my mouth at unbelievable speeds (while planning with my teammates in-between bites) as well as using the restroom two times a day. I do all of that in 28 minutes. May I also add that peeing and eating in my teacher’s lounge is THE ONLY AIR CONDITIONING I GET ALL DAY? And I still go into my classroom and work my butt off despite no air and holding my bladder all the time. And with that, I still do a better job at my job, with a teacher’s lounge may I add, then he could ever do in his job, even with all of his money and lack of educational experience.

  22. If you took time to read the entire statement, he stated that the teachers should whine and complain because he is not trying to take away your (ours-I am a teacher too) money or jobs. It was stated that these places are where teachers spit rhetoric about republicans and “their hatred for education”. If the truth be told, Kasich has raised the budget for education more than any of our recent governors. He is also try to fix the way schools are funded in Ohio.

    • And you, sir/madam, are as misinformed and as much a fool as our worthless governor. You claim to be a teacher and yet you defend the biggest enemy of teachers that has ever sat in the governor’s chair in the history of our state! There is no excuse for a teacher supporting him! INEXCUSABLE! Stop sniveling at the feet of the republiCONS!

      • Many comments angrily state that Kasich is out-of-touch and misinformed because he is a politician and not a teacher so his point-of-view is invalid. That doesn’t make any sense. Doctors can only comment on doctors, teachers about teachers, and so on? If that’s your logic, then unless you’ve held the title of “governor”, you shouldn’t be criticizing his job either.

    • What school or schools did he go to and observe all this whining and rhetoric??? I don’t recall any article informing us that our governor was visiting “in” the schools to observe? I don’t remember any news locally or statewide announcing the governor was traveling to various districts? Where did he get his information? And was this a survey across the nation because I never saw One or was asked to fill one out about what teachers do or don’t do in the lounge???

      Being a behavior specialist in schools, I am having a hard time with his unfounded statements that are not backed up by data, documented observations, oh wait lets go through the IEP checklist!!! Does he have or can show evidence of running records, checklists, work samples, daily observation, informal assessments, etc., etc., etc.!

      No informed voter, you nor governor Kasich are informed. The evidence proves invalid! As an educator if I or any of my colleagues made a statement like he did without the documentation and evidence to back it up we would be written up and in our way out! I am sorry but he and you are both grossly uninformed! I applaud all me colleagues for their comments defending their dedication to our students!

      • Give me a break. On your way out for making a statement like he did? Do you know how hard it is to fire a teacher? Good grief!

    • Informed Voter, are you kidding?? Smoke and mirrors. He reduced the education budget by millions if “truth be told”. His goal is to break down public education to privatize it so his buddies can make money off of it. Not so sure you are that informed. Is that you Kasich??

  23. oh bull i had a special needs child and i could never figure out how the teachers had a full cup of coffee all the time…so i would be with my son to help…so i watched his teacher leave the class two three times a day ..so i decided to follow his teacher and watch where she went…there she went into another room and it said teachers lounge on it…he couldn’t read till they found out in the third grade..the passed him on all a’s how when he couldn’t read then embassed him by making him stand up in class and try to read in front of hie peers…they were crual to him…instead of doing their jobs they drank coffee and neglected my son…to this day i don’t like teachers…he never got past the 5th grade level cause he was ashamed he couldn’t read…teachers should teach instead of making excuses and blaming the child or their family…i worked hard with him and listened to him cry…do your jobs…and don’t push your lazyness off to things you need to do…copy machines and grading paper and junk….do the teaching……or pay me to do your job with my child when he was younger…i did more with my son then they ever taught him…

    • You should have maybe spent a little more time helping your own kid than blaming a teacher. Maybe you should have home schooled if your experience was so bad? Take some responsibility mom…

      • So let me get this straight Mason. If a parent doesn’t appreciate a lazy teacher then they should home school their child? Perhaps the teacher should take responsibility as well.

    • You should have spent some time learning how to use ellipses while helping out your son. And capitalization. Just punctuation in general. This was hard to get through. It makes everything you write much easier to read if you utilize basic sentence and grammar structures.

      Also – someone having a bad teacher once doesn’t negate the existence of all other teachers. Come on, you know better than that.

  24. Gov. Kasich is a prime candidate for the Under Cover boss program. If he spent a few weeks in an actual working classroom, not some hand-picked political appearance photo session, I think his attitude on teachers might change. But we know that’s not going to happen.

  25. I agree with everything you said. Unfortunately, the use of the possessive “teacher’s” where the plural “teachers” is called for in correct usage creates a credibility problem for all of us teachers. I’m assuming you either wrote this on your phone where auto correct reigns (and is often mistaken, like Kasich in this case) or were too busy grading papers and doing lesson plans to check your own work. You definitely didn’t have funds to hire an editor. After all, you are a teacher. If only there were a teachers’ lounge where you could have collaborated with an English teacher, perhaps one problem would have been solved. No, then you wouldn’t have written the article at all; you’d have settled for singing a collective, woeful tune with your comrades.

    • And “Woe is us”? Our governor should try “Woe to us” or “Woe are we” to establish his own grammar credibility. Lol.

  26. The reality is that Kasich is a union busting tool of the Koch brothers. He made millions working for Lehman Brothers when he left Congress. He pictures himself as a son of a mailman who has lifted himself up by his own bootstraps (try that some time). He took on the unions in Ohio when he tried to pass SB 5 which would have curtailed the rights of public employees to unionize. He is no friend of education. Currently Ohio has a 2 billion surplus which the good governor created by cutting funds to eduction and to the cities, telling them that if they want services they have to raise taxes at the local level or raise taxes. His children attend private schools and he is a great supporter of the failed charter schools in Ohio. As with Speaker Boehner, I am ashamed to say these are the best leaders Ohio can produce.

  27. In the High School I attended (back in the late 80s), the only time you saw more than one or two teachers in the “lounge” was after the school day ended and they were having a departmental meeting

  28. The desk in the Foreign Language office (I taught ESOL) was my “office” during lunch period when I ate quickly so I had time to help any students who stopped in for help.

  29. After having been retired for 10 years my husband and I still eat lunch in 10 minutes because we were conditioned to everything over lunch hour. The teachers’ lounge might be where you got to sit though because your room was being used to teach something else in and there was no where else to do your work but study hall.

  30. If an issue is with legislators, should we question why both the AFT and NEA’s presidents have deep political ties? AFT president is a member of the DNC, a super donar to Hillary’s 2008 campaign and, on behalf of the AFT, recently endorsed Clinton for president. NEA president served under both the (Bill) Clinton and Obama administrations.

    We don’t like Common Core? Common Core was supported by the AFT.

    When union leaders have deep ties to lawmakers, is it fair to place full blame on our government?

    I don’t know if anyone has watched the entire 45 minute discussion. I will include a link.

    Governor Kasich was urging teachers not to fall into a negative trap. We have so many negatives thoughts in our heads. Let’s stop congregating and focusing the negatives. Let’s stop allowing pot stirring to control our moods. Let’s be proactive and find solutions.

    Kasich’s joke was published in an article – based on a union president’s tweet. The same union president who endorsed Clinton. It was then kicked over to the Democrat Party’s social media pages and other publications. A 10 second joke, taken out of context, became a firestorm of negativity.

    We can be Democrats, Republicans, Independents or even members of the Rent is Too Damn High Party. (Yeah. It’s a party that’s endorsed Deez Nuts for president. Deez Nuts is the type of high school student I’d like to have in a government class.) But let’s …

    Stop and think. We are congregating – focused on the negatives. We are “woe is us”. The pot was stirred and we took a bite.

    • I am a recently retired teacher (retired this year because of all the crap our government has piled on us) who has been a registered Republican since I was old enough to vote. With John Kasich’s history with educators, it is painfully obvious he is clueless and looks down his nose disdainfully at us. Based on what he has said and done(full context and not just this one time) he thinks we are overpaid and should have no complaints about our working conditions. Does SB 5 ring any bells for you? I do NOT need John Kasich telling me what to think or what to say. Period.

      • If you and I threw our governors on a pile and you saw mine, Kasich still might not be your favorite person … but you wouldn’t wish mine on your worst enemy.

        When I look at the other Republican candidates, many are mini-me’s of my governor. That scares me.

    • Nice job!!!i totally agree. People who judged, without listening to Gov. Kasich talk, missed the boat and should get a “F” for not doing their assignment.

  31. I agree with everything you said in your article, Abby, and, from the responses, it looks like a lot of others do too. Our teacher’s lounges have work machines —copy machines, laminaters, etc.— and a restroom, which gets most of its visitors during lunch time. Sure hope our Ohio governor reads all of these responses and learns what really happens in a teacher’s lounge and in a teacher’s day, including their work time at home. I’m a teacher who taught elementary for 30 years and then have subbed and/or tutored for 12 more.

  32. I didn’t read all of the comments but I have to discuss the one with Natalie the nurse. Our middle class is crumbling and our work benefits are slowing being destroyed by our government. Don’t you think they love seeing middle class jobs like nurses and teaching fight each other on who has it worse? This is a planned endeavor by hideously evil business like the Koch brothers who have hired most of our politicians. It is past time for all of us to join together and say no to idiot sanctions placed on all middle class jobs. Otherwise it’s just going to get worse.. And for God’s sake vote, run for office do something to help straighten out this mess. I am a teacher and I use the teacher’s lounge to eat in. I refuse to give up my time away from kids to do kid activities.

  33. I hope all of you are registered voters!!!! We need to elect people who support public education….period! So many don’t even vote! Sad

  34. Fantastic post. I took the liberty of sharing it with Gov. Kasich. Perhaps he will post a response, but don’t hold your breath. Keep up the good fight.

  35. Reblogged this on M. Reed McCall, Author and commented:
    So true…I’m not an Ohio teacher (I’m in NY) and I’m in my 27th year of HS teaching, but I haven’t used our teacher’s lounge in more the 15 years. It’s become the lunch and break room for the cafeteria and custodial staff. Besides, it’s on the first floor and I’m on the third…I don’t have time to get down there , eat, and use the bathroom in my allotted 30 minutes (not to mention I’m usually eating with one hand and grading or prepping for the next classes and lessons with the other.

    It’s a different world out there for teachers and I’m not sure some of those “in charge” in politics really grasp the realities.

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  39. Abby, I so totally get this. Been there. Done that. Hardly had time to spend a lot of time in the lounge. Spent many a lunch just trying to get caught up. It was craziness. I’m glad you’re speaking up!

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  43. Fantastic article, thank you! I am not a public school teacher, but a private tutor. I love teaching, I’ve had parents ask why I don’t teach. Too much red tape, I tell them, chokes learning out. I feel I can do more good one-on-one.

    The state of our education is appalling, but the attitudes of many parents and bureaucrats is worse. Teachers have become the scapegoat.

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  45. If my experiences as a student are any indicator, I can see how many adults would have negative recollections of the “teacher’s lounge.”

    The most egregious examples came from 11th grade English. Two teachers decided to “team teach.” Translation – they combined their two classes into one large one, which one teacher taught while the other spent the day in the teacher’s lounge. Subsequently, one of them got a student teacher, who taught the combined class while the two actual teachers both spent the day in the teacher’s lounge. We went for weeks on end without laying eyes on our actual teachers.

    Similarly, smoking by students was prohibited, yet the teacher’s lounge had smoke pouring out of the door like the room was on fire.

    The teacher’s lounge had a Coke machine, though no vending machines of any kind were permitted for student use. Any sort of food or drink was prohibited to the students in the classroom, but I’ll never forget the sight of one of my teachers in front of the classroom with a Coke in one hand, teaching away.

    Teachers were allotted one class period per day for planning. Funny how often these were spent in the teacher’s lounge instead of their classroom.

    I don’t begrudge anyone a break to decompress during the work day, but what I saw was an abuse of authority and position. Talk about building up bad karma….

    • Alan, as a recently retired teacher who spent all 31 of my years at the middle school level, I can tell you that your experience with your 11th grade English teachers is definitely NOT the norm for the vast majority of teachers. PLEASE do not base your opinions of MY profession on these two teachers, who, if your recollections are accurate, should have been reprimanded and set on the right path immediately.
      I, too, have memories of smoke pouring out of the teachers’ lounge during my high school days. Just because teachers chose to smoke, and that is where they had to do that during their school day, does not make them slackers as teachers. As a side note, when I first began my career, teachers were still smoking in the teachers’ lounge (I find it amusing that they call it the “teachers’ lounge” since it very often is where all of the machines are for making copies, stapling massive amounts of packets, hole-punching, etc, thus it is actually more of a workroom.) Since it was our workroom, I had to choke my way in and choke my way out every time I needed to run any copies, and I have never smoked. Thank goodness, after many years of this, smoking was no longer allowed in the building.
      Another point I would make is that students are students, not adults. Some teachers would keep a drink on his/her desk because when you teach all day your mouth can become dry. Teachers are adults and sometimes adults are allowed to do things that kids just are not allowed to do. I, personally, rarely ever would drink or eat anything during class unless I also allowed my kids to bring something, which I have allowed when I thought the day was too long and lunch was too early.
      And regarding spending my one planning period in the “teachers’ lounge.” If I’m in there, I’m 99% of the time working. My colleague and I collaborated a lot. That was done in my room, her room, or if we needed to run papers while collaborating, the “workroom.” And that time was not just during that one planning period. We spent countless hours planning AFTER school, for which we never saw any monetary compensation. In my husband’s occupation, if he works, he gets paid for ALL of his time. Which brings up another point, he NEVER spends his own money to do his job. If he needs anything to do a better job, his employer furnishes it. Teachers don’t have that luxury, thus many of us spend a lot of our own money on our students.

      The problem with our profession is that pretty much everyone has spent time on “one” side of the desk, but not both. And based on those experiences, opinions are formed and expressed that may or may not be accurate. In addition, every profession has their bad apples, their slackers, but judging all of us based on those exceptions is quite prejudicial. There are some AMAZING teachers out there. Unfortunately, politicians, like our wonderful governor, are causing many to leave the profession and never look back. I don’t blame them, it’s why I retired.

      • Hi Kelli — thanks for your well thought-out reply. I’m going to touch on some of your points, and expand on my original post.

        Interesting that your teacher’s lounge was more like a work room. The one at my high school had no work facilities at all. (I know this because of my affiliation with the drama club, who used it as a dressing room.)

        I applaud your allowing students food and drink. There’s certain biological needs, and having a “I can have a beverage, but you can’t” rule comes across as elitist.

        I wish I could blame my bad experiences in school on just two slacker teachers, but that’s not the case. They were two of many, and were never held accountable for their behavior. Funny, the teacher’s lounge was across the hall from the principal’s office, so I suspect there was some willful ignorance at work. The principal was obviously passionate about the football team and its associated activities (marching band, cheerleaders, drill team). Academics? Not so much.

        There was the Physics teacher who put her students on “independent study” and thus relieved herself of the responsibility to actually teach the class. There was also the teacher who put his students on “the contract system”, and achieved the same end. My Advanced Biology teacher was chronically late, spent the first 5-10 minutes after he showed up leafing through the chapter he was going to “teach” that period, and clearly had no demonstrable subject matter knowledge beyond the content of the textbook.

        You mention out of pocket expense and unpaid overtime. I’ve spent 5 years in the Navy, followed by 31-and-counting in the corporate arena. I’ve had plenty of out of pocket expense along the way. My sister had roughly $16K in unreimbursed expenses one year. I’ve also worked positively inhuman hours (80-100 weeks for one corporation). I empathize with you and think the level of out of pocket expense for teachers is ridiculous, but personal expense and unpaid work time are not unusual for white collar corporate workers.

        You have an interesting point about being on one side of the desk but not the other, and I’m also sensitive that one shouldn’t judge the many by the actions of the few. That said, the school administration solved the problem of managing the bottom 10% of students by treating everyone like they were bottom 10%.

        My negative experiences encompassed more than just slacker teachers. Some of the faculty and most of the administrators were simply knuckleheads.

        We had a shortage of lockers, so the administration decided seniors would not be assigned one. We were told to “keep your books in your car.” (I never got an answer to “what if you’re like me and don’t have a car?”) About a week later, the vice principal was on the PA berating the students about the number of people in the parking lot during the day, and threatening suspensions. Exactly how were seniors supposed to get their books?

        One day Mr. Advanced Bio was late to first period as usual, and our class was standing in the hall waiting for him. Mr. Vice Principal sees us and starts berating us for being in the hall after the bell rang. We pointed out the teacher wasn’t there yet, and that the classroom door was locked. He unlocked the door and left, offering no apology for tearing into us without getting the facts first. Here’s a whole class of students standing clustered around a closed classroom door and the lights are off. Something is obviously askew. Shouldn’t fact finding come first?

        Another knucklehead was the faculty adviser for the yearbook. I was a photographer, and someone called me literally five minutes before the kickoff of a football game 25 miles away, wanting a picture of the kickoff. I explained that there’s no way that could be done, but we could of course shoot the kickoff of a later game. Come Monday, Mrs. Adviser is chewing me out for “refusing a photo assignment”, and would would not acknowledge the basic reality that “five minute’s notice plus 25 miles distance equals physically impossible.”

        Is there an elephant in the room in the form of people’s experiences going through school? If people have a poor experience in school, I doubt they’ll be supportive of the educational establishment in adulthood. I do think the education field needs to do a better job of developing their good people, helping the ones who need help, and weeding out the hopeless slackers and knuckleheads. Administrators need to emphasize academics over athletics.

        Trying to wrap up this tome, it is most regrettable that “improving” education has come in the form of more testing and bureaucracy instead of identifying root causes of suboptimal outcomes and applying effective solutions. From what I’ve read, most of these “improvements” remind me of what we call “flavor of the month quality” in the corporate arena (but that’s another story.)

        Thanks for giving me a good “think” this evening.


        P.S. Lest anyone reading this think my words are the sour grapes of a crummy student — I was on the honor roll, in National Honor Society, in Beta Club, graduated valedictorian, and attended college on a Navy ROTC scholarship graduating magna cum laude. I attribute my academic success mostly to good genes and parents that valued education and learning.

      • Alan, if you don’t mind my asking, what years were you in high school? I’m going to guess the 1950’s. Things in education were very, very different then.

  46. Pingback: What I’m Into – August 2015 | coffeesnob318

  47. @jessicawatersedge…Your NON-ANSWER speaks volumes about YOU! You obviously do not have the strength of your so-called convictions. Either that, or you are afraid to try to come into a classroom to shadow a teacher and to see what a teacher really does. I think that’s the answer; you fear being proven wrong, just as most people who complain about teachers also are.

    Now YOU, scared little lady, are dismissed!

  48. Pingback: Healthy Eating Lesson High Shcool | Restore Good Health Lost

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